Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Yemen: Defence Minister Mohamed Nasser Ali escapes attack

Yemeni authorities have said that the country's Defence Minister Maj Gen Mohamed Nasser Ali escaped an attack on his convoy in the city of Aden. It is thought that a suicide bomber drove a vehicle full of explosive into the defence minister's convoy while others attacked by hurling hand grenades.

It is estimated that at least three soldiers were killed and nine others injured. The ongoing political turmoil in the country has given rise to outbreaks of violence. Yemen now faces serious security hurdles, including fighting between various ethnic factions and a surge in attacks by the Al-Qa'ida.

Islamist fighters connected to the Al-Qa'ida have taken advantage of Yemen's insecurity during the ongoing unrest and fighting between anti-government protesters and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Three months after an attempt on his life, Saleh returned to Yemen from Saudi Arabia on Friday 23rd September. Just hours after his return, a government spokesman said the president was calling for a “truce and a ceasefire.” But protests urging him to step down are still taking place in cities across the country.

It is yet unclear who carried out the attack on Ali's convoy, but one official told AFP news agency that the defence minister's convoy was hit as it left a tunnel on the way back to his hotel.

Ali was on an official visit to Aden, following reports that militants have recently taken control of three towns in the Abyan province. The Yemeni army has been deployed to the region in order to gain control of the territory.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, Bloomberg

For more news and expert analysis about Yemen, please see Yemen Focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment